Limiting the Right to Privacy: The Puttaswamy Judgment-II

Limiting the Right to Privacy: The Puttaswamy Judgment-II
Image Source: DataPrivacyManager

No right is absolute, and every right comes with certain restrictions. So does the Right to Privacy, which is a fundamental right under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. Right to life includes Right to Privacy and, as it is argued somewhere else on this blog, ‘privacy, as a right, is important for an individual to exercise control over his or her personality.’ The authority of the State to restrict the Right to Life (and limiting the right to Privacy) derives from the second part of Article 21. It states that the rights cannot be violated ‘except according to procedure established by the law’. After the Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India, the procedure established by the law must also be just, fair and reasonable. Every such procedure must pass the scrutiny of Articles 14, 19 and 21 of the Constitution of India. This post highlights the conditions under which the Indian State can constitutionally intervene with the Right to Privacy. Herein, it is crucial to understand that the rights are the general norms that must triumph, and the restrictions are exceptions. No exception can override the general norms except in certain clearly defined conditions (also known as ‘tests’ or ‘doctrines’).

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Guest Post: Constitutional Perspective on the Conjugal Rights of Prisoners in India

India, like most nations, uses incarceration as a method of legal punishment for those who transgress the law. Although prisoners are alienated from society, the courts have reiterated on numerous occasions that they are still entitled to enjoy basic rights enshrined in the Constitution. One such right claimed as fundamental to a prisoner’s life and dignity is Conjugal rights. It refers to the “rights, especially to sexual relations, regarded as exercisable in law by each partner in a marriage.”

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Guest Post: Is COVID-Lockdown Really Sabotaging Employment in India?

Covid and Employment
Image Source: Adda24x7

When our government has convinced us and the world that we are in the “endgame” of the pandemic, the more precarious version of the contagion, constantly knocking on the doors, banged and created a catastrophe, which affected nearly every one of us. We all might not be in the same boat but we were in the same hurricane. Apart from the scantiness of oxygen, hospital beds, medicines, ventilators, and vaccines, we Indians are also continuously facing the dearth of necessity, from the first wave itself, that is known as the livelihood. Supreme Court and High Courts, raised their brows on the insufficiency of all the covid – related necessities. However, they didn’t show concern towards the breach of right to livelihood. It is an intrinsic and germane part of enforceable fundamental rights as well as unenforceable Directive Principles of State Policy [“DPSP”]. The issue of lack of livelihood or unemployment hasn’t surfaced today, at the time of covid, but has been present for years. However, due attention must be given to the loss of livelihood that has spiked in the pandemic. To add on, there is an inevitable third wave waiting round the corner.

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Guest Post: Global Tenders of Vaccines by State Governments and the Centre-State Relations

Image Source: Times of India

[Editor’s Note: The Central Government revised its policy on 7th May 2021 wherein the Prime Minister announced that the Central Government will procure the vaccines on behalf of the States (75% of the vaccines) and it will be free for everyone above 18 years of age. The change in the policy came after the Supreme Court’s 31st May order*.]

In mid-January 2020, the Government of India planned the vaccination drive in different phases; for example, in the first phase of the vaccination drive the focus was on the Front-line workers (doctors, paramedics, etc.) as they are at  higher risk. The second phase of vaccination was further divided into two parts, firstly, to all the individuals above 60 years of age and then everyone above 45 years of age. Then, in the beginning of May, that is, in the third phase, the Government has allowed everyone above 18 years of age to get vaccinated. As India marked the beginning of its third phase of vaccination, the country is facing a huge vaccine shortage (it has been reported here, here and here and in various other news channels and reports). To tackle this shortage the central government asked the states to float the global tender. But the question arises is it the State Government’s responsibility to enter into foreign trade, or is it a central government duty to import the vaccines and distribute them among the states?

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Guest Post: Article 30, State Regulations and the Supreme Court’s Missed Opportunity

Article 30, State Regulations and Islamic Educational Institutions
Photo Source: ThePrint

Minority Educational Institutions under Article 30 of the Constitution of India are subject to various State Regulations. The interpretation of Article 30, which the framers of the Constitution of India infused with a sense of a special right to minorities of India to establish and administer educational institutions, was the matter in hand and of controversy in Sk. Md. Rafique v. Managing Committee, Contai Rahamania High Madrasah which was decided by the Supreme Court in 2020.The matter arose from the decision of the Single Bench of Calcutta High Court which was affirmed by the Division Bench of the High Court and later in appeal travelled to the Supreme Court. Madrasah Service Commission Act, 2008 did the litigation journey till the Supreme Court, where a two Judge Bench (of Justice Arun Mishra and Justice UU Lalit) finally decided to put a rest to it. In this backdrop, the present analysis lies on the right of the minorities to establish educational institutions and the government’s power to regulate the same.

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